What Will Happen When You Hire a Diverse Staff (a primer for Matt Damon)

The Martian, Good Will Hunting caused quite a stir this week on an episode of Project Greenlight. The incident in question occurred when white Damon interrupted Effie Brown, a prolific producer who also happens to be black, as she was suggesting that diversity was important.

Truly, how dare she try to blacktalk during this very generous piece of whitesplaining.

Etiquette always states that you do not blacktalk during a whitesplain.

Brown was suggesting to a roundtable of other people whose faces you’d recognize that they should consider considering that a diverse filmmaker would be well-equipped to handle direction of a a script where the only person of color seen on screen is a black prostitute who gets slapped by her white pimp, lest the finished product have some uncomfortable undertones.

Jason Bourne interrupted Brown and said that simply wasn’t necessary. Brown tried to interject, but Ocean’s 10th interrupted again and said that it was absolutely not necessary to cast a diverse director because:

“When we talk about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not the casting of the show,” he said, intimating that having one person of color in an entire film is plenty, thank you very much. And that since that role has been filled, it really doesn’t make any sense to have any people of color working anywhere else on set.

Later, in a talking head segment, Private Ryan said directors should be based on merit and that “all other” considerations should be taken out of it.

The implication being that diverse directors cannot stand on their merit and that “other” considerations must be considered in order to make a diverse candidate viable.

And The Uncredited Baseball Fan at Fenway Park could not be more right.

Because when you choose a diverse director, you really are asking for trouble. Here’s what will likely happen if you pick a not white to direct your movie.

  • The chosen director will express thanks and gratitude for the opportunity.
  • The chosen director (TCD) will plan, schedule, research and consider
  • Someone will bring Tom Ripley a coffee
  • A PA will start to re-consider their life choices
  • A producer’s child will have their resume fast-tracked and be well on their way to becoming a VP
  • TCD will work with the AD to try and make their day
  • An intern will make some copies
  • Everyone will get really excited about crafty, no matter what they’re serving
  • Many takes will go well, some will end up in the blooper reel
  • Some fan will give out and everyone will get all hot and cranky
  • This pattern will repeat itself for a few days until everything is in the can
  • Editors will work many nights and weekends to cut the piece together
  • Executives will weigh in
  • The PA will have given up and resigned themselves to a life less glamorous, but no less lived
  • An unnecessarily expensive wrap party will be planned
  • Oh, and the movie will be ruined. Obviously.

I mean, you can’t, as Rannulph Junuh articulated, just hire diverse directors willy nilly or who knows what will happen. Just look at these examples of horrible mistakes made by directors of color.

Selma, Ava DuVernay

Left to right: David Oyelowo plays Martin Luther King, Jr. and Carmen Ejogo plays Coretta Scott King in SELMA, from Paramount Pictures and Pathé.

You call that tying a tie?? A real tie tyer wouldn’t let themselves be groped during this very important bit of work. There’s no way you can tie a proper Eldridge knot with that kind of distraction…What?! She was having her tie a simple windsor?! Fail.
F. Gary Gray, The Italian Job

theitalianjob10

Oh for fucks’ sake. When you are done with your meal, you don’t put your fork on its side like a goddamned animal. You put it with tines facing down!!! This movie, ruined.

King Arthur, Antoine Fuqua

arthur-6

Hello?!?!? We’re on a horse, that means our heels go DOWN guy in the back!! If you can’t afford to get your crew some calf-stretching exercises so that they don’t look like absolute asstoots on film, then you’re obviously an Affirmative Action hire who has no business working in this business.

Thank you, Guy Who Played Owen on Will and Grace That Time for holding us to some g-damned standards.

 

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What other horrible things have you seen happen on screen because there was a diverse cast behind the camera? Let us know in the comments!

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2 comments

  1. With all the anthropological probing you have been receiving lately, I’m stunned you had the time, let alone the ability to write a blog post. 😉

    Well this is great news:
    The chosen director will express thanks and gratitude for the opportunity.
    The chosen director (TCD) will plan, schedule, research and consider
    Someone will bring Tom Ripley a coffee
    A PA will start to re-consider their life choices
    A producer’s child will have their resume fast-tracked and be well on their way to becoming a VP
    TCD will work with the AD to try and make their day
    An intern will make some copies
    Everyone will get really excited about crafty, no matter what they’re serving
    Many takes will go well, some will end up in the blooper reel
    Some fan will give out and everyone will get all hot and cranky
    This pattern will repeat itself for a few days until everything is in the can
    Editors will work many nights and weekends to cut the piece together
    Executives will weigh in
    The PA will have given up and resigned themselves to a life less glamorous, but no less lived
    An unnecessarily expensive wrap party will be planned
    Oh, and the movie will be ruined. Obviously.

    Directors of color or black and white movies are going to be treated just like Caucasian directors who’s last names aren’t Spielberg, Scorsese or Eastwood. What a great day for film makers. A great day for western culture. A great day for all of us who are growing tired of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

    BTW, tying the full Windsor knot is no easy task!

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